Wo., or Wild Oats, is the latest offering from Wilin Low, the chef-owner of Wild Rocket restaurant. It’s located in the colonial mansion next door to Wild Rocket’s Hangout Hotel – it’s the formerly haunted-looking building that you could see from the 7th floor rooftop garden of Hangout Hotel. Rather than a proper restaurant, which would deflect business away from Wild Rocket, this is cleverly a chill-out watering hole serving drinks and finger food, that’s intended to complement Wild Rocket. Since Wo. opens from 6 pm till late, you could either have drinks then head to Wild Rocket for dinner, or alternatively have dinner then while away the rest of the night at Wo.
We had drinks and some nibbles there on Saturday evening, because we had an 8 pm performance by The Analog Girl at the National Museum to attend. It was still quite hot when we got there, so being the heat-averse people that we are, we shunned the chi-chi outdoor seating and headed right for air-conditioned comfort. The indoor bar area has comfy armchairs and barstools, and the outdoor seating area boasts a wooden platform and rattan chairs. I would imagine that the outdoor area would be lovely at sunset or on a clear night. But as long as the sun is out, give me my air-con!
The finger food menu is slightly limited but that’s to be expected since it’s a bar rather than a restaurant. We ordered the chicken wings and one of the Hot Bitches (that’s what they call their hot dogs here) – the Sassy, since A is a sucker for anything with sun-dried tomatoes.
The wings were a slight letdown. The description made them sound utterly delicious, but when they arrived, I found the batter too thick, and without any parmesan flavour. The menu may say you have to choose between the chicken rice chilli sauce and the gorgonzola cheese sauce, but you can ask for half-and-half so you get four wings with each. Random bit of information: the sauces are named after the two sous chefs at Wild Rocket.
Surprisingly, both A and I preferred the chicken rice chilli sauce. The slightly sour tang and garlicky twist complemented the deep fried wings much better than the gorgonzola sauce, which tended to be a little one-dimensional and flat.
The hot dog came with some poppadums, probably an effort to continue with some fusion elements. As far as hot dogs go, it was a pretty good version, albeit a little poncey. I would have much preferred the one with English mustard and caramelized onions, but oh well, A’s tastes aren’t as simple as he thinks…
We can’t come here without having drinks, so I had the Lambrini, which is a pear cider and A had a Hill Slide – essentially an alcoholic milkshake made with Cointreau, Crème de Cacao and chocolate sauce. The Lambrini tasted pretty much like champagne/sparkling white wine, but A’s Hill Slide was delicious. I think next time I’ll have one of their cocktails instead. Apparently if you dine at Wild Rocket, you’ll get one-for-one drinks vouchers, valid for some house pours, beer and house wines.
My tastes are indeed simple. I had my usual meal of a hot dog and milkshake. It just so happened that the hot dog had sun-dried tomato salsa instead of chilli and the milkshake had alcohol.
Anyway, the place is cool and laid back. I like the artsy village feel as you wander the grounds. The staff there are also really friendly and helpful. This is definitely a place I’d recommend.
Wild Oats Bar by the Park
11 Upper Wilkie Road
Open Tuesday to Sunday, 6 pm to midnight
10A Upper Wilkie Road
Tuesday to Saturday: 12 noon to 3 pm (lunch), 6.30 pm to 11 pm (dinner)
Sunday: 11.30 am to 3 pm (brunch), 6.30 pm to 10.30 pm (dinner)
Saturday, March 24, 2007
Wo. (aka Wild Oats)